4 days in Luang Prabang, Laos

Travel Itinerary

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Pavel Revenkov
Itinerary by: Pavel Revenkov
11 days ago
Tour Guide
Duration: 4 days

Luang Prabang is Laos' ancient capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the country's cultural and religious hub. The city's history dates back over 2000 years. It was the capital of the Siamese and Khmer states throughout this time, and it eventually became the place of the first Lao kings. This is one of Asia's most fascinating cities, deserving of the moniker "open-air museum." Enveloped in the colonial French charm of previous centuries, charming streets with their elegant one- and two-story French-style mansions, a relaxing atmosphere of coziness and tranquility, fragrant freshly brewed coffee and French pastries, here side by side with the opening coastal Mekong landscapes with emerald rice terraces and hidden in the misty hazy mountains, golden tops of Buddhist temples and rows of monks, leisurely strolling along the streets. Photo by Swapnil Kulkarni on unsplash.com

Day 1

Walking around town

On Day 1, you will walk around the town and visit all the must-see places of Luang Prabang.
05:30 - 06:10
Monks' procession Tak Bat
V4VR+V7F Luang Prabang, Laos
Before breakfast, go to see Laos' centuries-old practice of monks parading through the streets of Luang Prabang - Tak Bat. Every day at 6 a.m., when the sun is still rising and the city is shrouded in a light morning fog, monks come to accept food offerings from the inhabitants. It appears to be a never-ending procession of monks wearing orange robes and going barefoot. In Luang Prabang, this morning ceremonial has become a landmark. You can participate in this tradition by feeding the monks. Photo by Laurentiu Morariu on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

06:10 - 07:00
Phou Si Mountain
V4RP+47W Luang Prabang, Laos
Phou Si Mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of Luang Prabang, which is located at the confluence of the Mekong river and Nam Khan river. Temple Mount Phou Si, or the Sacred Mountain as it is often known, did not earn its name by chance. There are temples with religious monks at the top of Phou Si. The mountain is a popular tourist destination for visitors from all corners of the globe. What makes this mountain so fascinating? First, it overcame a very tangible road to the summit of Phou Si with its unique history, and second, it overcame a very palpable path to the top of Phou Si with a magnificent view that opens up to everyone (the height of the mountain is one hundred meters). A three hundred and twenty-nine-step stone stairway was built to help with this path. The path to this attraction starts at its foot; gazing up, you won't be able to estimate the path's complete length. The transitional platforms, which the builders are compelled to link on the stairs because they turned out to be too tortuous and small, will avoid this. So get ready to climb - once you've completed the final 329 steps, you'll arrive at your destination. Mount Phou Si is the genuine icon of Luang Prabang and its ancient cradle. Several temples that are still in use today can be found here, and hundreds of monks live peacefully in them. The white pagoda That Chom Si is the Sacred Mountain's major attraction. It was constructed in 1803. The statue of a fat and tranquil Buddha, clothed in gilding, is another popular tourist attraction, in addition to temples. Buddha is situated on one of the rocky niche's slopes. As previously stated, the opening scene far exceeds all expectations. As though in the palm of your hand, the city also offers a stunning panoramic view of Luang Prabang and its surrounds. Climb the hill on the Nam Khan River's bank then descend the opposite side to the Royal Palace. Photo by Colin Roe on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 20000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
07:00 - 08:00
Morning Market
V4RM+7F6 Luang Prabang, Laos
Take a stroll around the vibrant morning market in Luang Prabang. Traditional Lao food, including as a variety of barbecues, sticky rice, buffalo skin, and river seaweed snacks, will be available from local sellers. Squirrels, rats, bats, and forest birds are among the exotic animals marketed here. Of course, there's a wide variety of Mekong fish. Photo by Joel Moreau on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
08:00 - 09:00
Breakfast at Joma Café
16 Chaofa Ngum Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Joma Cafe is the greatest place to go for breakfast. It serves a wide range of Lao coffees, fruit shakes, and drinks, as well as a selection of pastries. Photo by Ian Baldwin on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 40000.00 - 150000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
09:00 - 10:00
National Museum
27 Ounheun Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Visit the National Museum, which is housed in the former Royal Palace and has a large collection of objects relating to Laos' former kings. The French constructed the palace for King Sisawang Vong in 1904. The king's personal treasures, paintings, domestic furnishings, and a throne are on display inside the museum. After Sisawang Vong's death in 1959, his son, King Sisawang Wattana, lived here until the monarchy was overthrown in 1975. Many noteworthy exhibits can be seen in the National museum, which is built in a neoclassical French style and houses the statue of the Sacred Golden Buddha (Buddha Phra Bang) from the 2nd century, which was gifted to King Fa Ngum by the Khmer emperor Jayavarman Parameshwara in 1359 year. In 1930, French artist Alex de Fontero painted frescoes depicting Lao traditions. They're set up such that natural light falls on the image at the right time of day. In 1967, Russian artist Ilya Glazunov painted large portraits of King Sawang Wathana, Queen Khamphoui, and Crown Prince Wong Sawang. Photo by Joelle Moreau on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 30000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
10:00 - 11:00
Walking through the city's colonial district
45 Kingkitsarath Rd, Luang Prabang, Laos
Take a stroll down Sisavangvong Road and Sakkaline Road, the city's principal roadways. A large number of colonial French buildings, many of which are now hotels and restaurants, can be found here. Wat May Souvannapumaram and Wat Sene are two old city temples that warrant special attention. Photo by Yossanunj on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
11:00 - 12:00
Wat Xieng Thong
Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
The ancient Buddhist temple of 1560 Wat Xieng Thong, with its roofs placed low to the ground and representing classical Lao architecture, is the jewel of the ancient royal city. It is one of the city's most revered monasteries and the city's oldest surviving structure, and it is where Lao monarchs were coronated and state rituals were held. The temple was built in 1560 by Lao monarch Settatirat and remained under royal control throughout the Kingdom of Laos' existence. This wat, like the royal palace, is located near the Mekong. During the sack of the city in 1887, Wat Sieng Thong, along with Wat May Souvannapumaram, received little damage. This was due to the fact that Deo Van Tri, the leader of the "black flags" or "ho," trained as a monk here in his childhood. During the assault, he used the temple as a base of operations. The temple's construction is a perfect example of Luang Prabang's classical temple design, with the roof slopes gradually curling down to practically the ground level. On the rear wall, mosaics on a red background with images of numerous birds and animals captured in silver, lilac, and green colors border the buildings. Inside, golden representations of dharmachakras, or "wheels of dharma," are affixed to the wooden columns that support the ceiling, in addition to wall images. There are several small halls and stupas on one side of the temple that house Buddha images. There is also a reclining Buddha shrine (fr. La Chapelle Rouge - "Red Chapel"), which has a very rare reclining Buddha statue. The fabrication of this one-of-a-kind statue predates the construction of the temple itself. She was moved to Paris in 1931 and exhibited at the Paris Exhibition. Furthermore, until 1964, when it was returned to Luang Prabang, this work of art was held in Vientiane. In front of the statue are several bronze seated Buddhas of various sizes and eras. A 12-meter building for the royal burial carriage lies at the complex's east gate, housing the funeral carriage itself, which is ornamented with a dragon's head, as well as golden urns for members of the royal family. There are monarch dolls in glass boxes here, which were previously used in a spectacular puppet show. The semi-erotic episodes from the Ramayana are depicted in gilded panels on the building's outer walls. The most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Xieng Tong, often known as "Golden City" or "Golden Tree Monastery." The temple's ambience of splendor and tranquillity is trembling to its core. It was commonly used as an entrance to the city since it was located on the riverfront where the Nam Khang river tributary joined the Mekong. Pilgrims from Siam, which comprised this region, arrived at the Wat Xieng Tong to complete their journey. It was usual for the king to spend three days in the temple praying and meditating on the eve of his coronation. Wat Xieng Tong was the site of Lao monarchs' coronations and the site of a number of annual celebrations. Photo by AdrieenBe on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 20000.00 KIP

12:00 - 13:30
A stroll along the Mekong bank and lunch
Luang Prabang, Laos
Take a walk along the Mekong to the city center and have lunch at one of the local restaurants. The pork and beef sausages, Ol Lam, and Luang Prabang Salad are all famous in Luang Prabang. Then go around Phou Si Mountain and visit Wat Wisunalat. Photo by DEZALB on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 40000.00 - 160000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
13:30 - 14:00
Wat Visounalat
V4PQ+WGJ Luang Prabang, Laos
The oldest temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Visunalat. In 1512, the sanctuary was established. A significant collection of antique Buddha images can be seen in the temple. Wat Visunalat is made up of a small structure called sim and a big stupa built in the Sinhala style called Tat Pathum. The temple complex was demolished and looted by the Black Flag Army, a Chinese rebel force, when Luang Prabang was partially destroyed and looted in 1887. In 1898, the temple was repaired. The old edifice of Wat Visunalat, more magnificent and opulently ornamented than the current temple, is depicted in an engraving by Louis Delaporte, a French explorer who visited to Cambodia and Laos in the 1860s and 1970s. Massive wooden pillars 30 meters tall supported the ceiling of the original sanctuary. In 1513-1707 and 1867-1887, Wat Visunalat housed the famous Buddha Prabang image. He is now housed in the wat of Royal Palace, which has been converted into the National Museum. Sim (temple) Wat Visunalat is a brick structure with a two-story roof that is adorned with stylized nagas. The "dock with faa" - a decorative piece resembling 17 small stupas under umbrellas - is located in the center of the roof. The wooden doors on the sim come from a previous 16th century structure. Images of the Hindu gods Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, and Shiva can be found on them. Sim is home of Luang Prabang's largest Buddha statue. A great number of miniature bronze and wood Buddha figurines surround the gilt sculpture. They are almost 400 years old in certain cases. The 35-meter-high Stupa Tat Pathum was constructed around the beginning of the 16th century. It has a dome that resembles a watermelon, which is why the locals in Luang Prabang refer to it as the Watermelon Stupa. The actions of the Black Flag bandits also harmed Stupa Tat Pathum. It was destroyed because it held old Buddha images. The statues that were still in good condition have been moved to the Royal Palace. Photo by DEZALB on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 15000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
14:00 - 15:30
UXO Visitor's Center
Unnamed Road, Luang Prabang, Laos
This place is dedicated to Laos' civil war, sometimes known as the Secret War, which lasted from 1960 to 1973. Approximately 3 million tons of bombs were dropped on Laos by American troops during this time. Many bombs have remained unexploded to this day, injuring and killing dozens of people every year, many of whom are children. Here you'll see examples of bombs and learn about current efforts in Laos to clean large regions. You may also see English-language videos on sappers in Laos and unique documentary video of the civil war. Photo by Pavel Revenkov on laotour.ru
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
15:30 - 18:00
Sunset on the Mekong River
99 Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Return to the Mekong's bank. You may easily rent a boat and take a short river excursion to view the sunset from here. Ask your boatman to stop at the Royal Palace's pier on the back way. Photo by Hakan Nural on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 200000.00 - 250000.00 KIP

Travel time
0 hours 30 minutes
18:00 - 20:00
Night market
V4RM+6X9 Luang Prabang, Laos
At sundown, the night market on Luang Prabang's main street opens. Here you can learn about traditional Lao crafts and buy souvenirs and handicrafts manufactured by villagers representatives from the Khmu and Hmong hill tribes. This is probably Laos' most colorful and fascinating market. There is a night market with food not far from the souvenir market. Traditional Lao cuisine is available for a little fee. Photo by Sung Shin on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

Day 2

Boat Trip and Elephants

On Day 2, you will have a fantastic boat trip along the Mekong River, visit Caves of Thousands Buddhas and finish the day with elephants in a great place on Mekong River bank.
10:00 - 13:00
Boat on the Mekong
99 Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
Rent a large, luxurious boat on the Mekong riverfront and go on a river trip upstream on Asia's primary waterway, the Greate Mekong. Ban Xang Hai Village will be the first stop. Although the people have made a living for years by manufacturing ceramic jars, it is now known for the creation of the spirits "lao-lao," which are made from fermented sticky rice. Photo by Swapnil Kulkarni on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 800000.00 - 1000000.00 KIP

13:00 - 14:00
Pak Ou Caves
26X6+V32 Pak Ou, Laos
The Pak Ou cave complex is the next stop. Pak Ou Caves is a Buddhist cave complex located 25 kilometers from Luang Prabang on the Mekong River. The "Caves of a Thousand Buddhas" are also known as that. The cave complex consists of the Lower Cave, Tham Ting, and the Upper Cave, Tham Theung, which are located above the Mekong at the mouth of a big tributary of the Mekong, Nam Ou River. The caves are not accessible by road; instead, visitors must travel upstream by boat from Luang Prabang. The caves are known for its large collection of Buddha statues, most of which are made of wood. Locals and pilgrims have been bringing them here for generations. The Lower Cave (Tham Ting) has about 2,500 Buddha statues, while the Upper Cave (Tham Theung) has about 1,500. In reality, many caves may be found in the mountains that have grown up surrounding the Mekong. They are thought to represent echoes of early Buddhist building, with the oldest cave dating back to the third century BC. Those that are part of the Pak Ou cave complex, however, are the most well-known. Pak Ou caves are appealing for more reasons than only the ease with which they may be reached. They are respected sanctuaries and one-of-a-kind natural objects, among other things. The Pak Ou complex was a form of religious temple even before the arrival of Buddhism. The people of Laos used to worship the spirits of nature back then (or Phi). In their minds, the caves served as a protective barrier, guarding the Mekong. The river was also seen as a sign of life. These caverns became the repository of revered Buddha figures after Buddhism became a religion. They were brought in by residents from the surrounding villages and left in Pak Ou. The Pak Ou complex houses a variety of figurines, large and little, constructed of various materials such as stone, metal, wood, and even fabric. It's tough to estimate their exact number, but it's around four thousand. The cave complex was taken over by the royal family in the 16th century. Every new year, the rulers' married pair went to the caves to contemplate and pray. This went on until 1975, the year the royal family was expelled. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 20000.00 KIP

14:00 - 18:00
Manifa Elephant Camp
ลาว Vientiane Unnamed Road Vientiane, Laos
At the Manifa Elephant Camp, make a pit stop. You can let go of your boat here. To begin, enjoy a delectable meal in this lovely setting featuring Lao and European cuisine. After that wait for the elephants. You'll not only be able to feed and ride elephants, but you'll also be able to learn some of the Mahaouts elephant drivers' commands and even swim with the elephants in the Mekong. The Manifa Resort is the greatest place to spend the night. There are several nice bungalows with Mekong River views at a reasonable price. It is preferable to book an overnight stay in advance. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 250000.00 - 350000.00 KIP

Day 3

Day on the river

Spend your day on two rivers - Nam Ou and Mekong
09:00 - 11:00
Relax on the beach at Nam Ou river
Unnamed Road, Laos
Make a boat rental reservation with Manifa's staff and head to the Nam Ou River's picturesque beach. Take a pause there and swim for a while. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 300000.00 KIP

11:00 - 16:00
Kayaking along the Nam Ou river
Nam Ou Bridge, 13, Hatgna, Laos
Drive up the Nam Ou River from the beach (a car can be ordered from the Manifa staff). Kayaks with an instructor will be waiting for you when you arrive. The total distance covered will be 4 kilometers. You'll stop for lunch along the way, which will include traditional Lao dishes. After you've finished kayaking, you'll drive back to the city. Photo by Parker Hilton on unsplash.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 350000.00 KIP

16:00 - 18:00
Silk Village
Xangkhong Village, Luangprabang district, Luangprabang province, Laos
Before returning to the city center, make a pit stop in the Silk Village. It is known for both natural silk production using silkworms and traditional Lao paper production. Photo by DIZALB on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 600000.00 KIP

18:00 - 20:00
Dinner in town on Sisavangvong Road or Sakkaline Road
V4VR+H52, Luang Prabang, Laos
On Sisavangvong Road and Sakkaline Road, there are numerous restaurants serving Lao and European cuisines. Pick one that appeals to you. Don't forget to drink the famous Beer Lao, which is often regarded as Southeast Asia's best beer. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 80000.00 - 250000.00 KIP

Day 4

Waterfalls around town

Explore the best waterfalls in the area, enjoy terkking, and discover some hidden gems.
09:00 - 14:00
Kuang Si waterfall
ลาว Vientiane Unnamed Road Vientiane, Laos
Take a car with a driver or a tuk-tuk to Kuang Si, Southeast Asia's most beautiful waterfall, which is located in the same-named national park, 25 kilometers outside the city. A primary cascade with a height of 54 meters and a series of cascades with a lower height make up the waterfall. Climb the mountain via the wet, strange jungle by following the way around the waterfalls. Between the cascades, there are various pools with deep azure waters, which are painted in wonderful colours by eroded limestone rocks. You will be able to take in the breathtaking scenery, swim, and relax here. A Malay bear rehabilitation center is located at the base of the waterfall. Many bears rescued from poachers are maintained in good circumstances in open-air cages. Climb to the peak of the waterfall, which is 54 meters high. You can swim in another pool or float down the river on a raft. Then don't rush going down. Go 3 kilometers away, follow the signs to the waterfall's spring. Swim in the river and visit a little cave. You'll reach the parking area if you continue along the road. Photo by Sharo Nang on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 20000.00 KIP

Notes

Extra fee for one-day car with driver is around 1000000 kip

14:00 - 15:00
Hmong village
R2FV+3WH, Napho, Laos
Take the road to Luang Prabang. Stop in a Hmong village along the road, which is home to one of Laos' main ethnic groups. You can buy souvenirs, visit a typical Hmong house, and learn about their culture. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 10000.00 KIP

15:00 - 17:00
Tad Sae waterfall
R6V9+GX9, En, Laos
To get to the Tad Sae waterfalls, drive in the opposite direction of the city (25 kilometers). You'll be dropped off at a parking area from where you'll need to take a boat to the waterfalls. You can also swim and observe elephants here. Photo by kolibri5 on pixabay.com
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
Standard 25000.00 KIP

17:00 - 18:00
Henri Mouhot Grave
V5MV+RCJ, Luang Prabang, Laos
Request that the vehicle stop at Henri Mouhot Grave on the way back to the city. This great French explorer died in Laos and was buried in a secluded spot along the river's edge. He is remembered with being the first Europeans to find Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Tourists are rarely seen here. Photo by Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov

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About the author

Hello! My name is Pavel. I've been living in Laos for 7 years - working as a tour guide for the last 5 years in Laos and Myanmar.

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